FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Katie Robbins | [email protected] | 917-657-4663
New York City Council Calls for the State Legislature and Governor
to Pass the New York Health Act with Historic Resolution
City Hall, NY — Today, the New York City Council passed a historic resolution by an overwhelming majority with 44 Council Members voting in favor, calling on the New York State Legislature and Governor to pass the New York Health Act, guaranteeing publicly-funded healthcare for all New York State residents.
This vote happened on the tail of a hearing held last week where Speaker Johnson, Health Committee Chair Levine, and New York City residents and leaders called for the passage of the New York Health Act (A.4738-A/S.4840-A) shortly before more than 75 people testified in favor of Council Resolution 470. The New York Health Act would provide complete health coverage to all New Yorkers without deductibles, co-pays, restricted provider networks, or out-of-network charges. At the hearing, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) announced that he and his Senate colleague, Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), will amend the bill next month to add full coverage of long-term care for all New Yorkers who require it, regardless of income.
Recent studies show that the New York Health Act can cover every New York resident and improve access to care, while spending less in total healthcare costs than the status quo. The savings in moving from the fragmented, privatized system to a streamlined publicly-financed system would alleviate the health insurance burden on local municipal budgets, as well as New York City’s share of Medicaid payments, resulting in an estimated $9.4 billion – or 11% of the budget – in savings for the city. Additionally, of the 1.7 million New Yorkers that are uninsured statewide, over 1 million of them live in New York City.
Recent electoral successes bolster advocates’ expectations for movement on this legislation in the coming session. A majority of the new Democratic Senate campaigned on the legislation or were cosponsors in the last session. This included Senator-elect Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx), who spoke at last week’s hearing about her own personal healthcare challenges. Statewide support of this legislation is growing, reflected in the 18 local cities, counties, and towns across New York that have already passed resolutions in support of the New York Health Act, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Kingston, and the counties of Rockland, Sullivan, and Tompkins.
The bill has been endorsed by the NYS Academy of Family Physicians, NYS American Academy of Pediatrics, NYS Nurses Association, Community Health Care Association of NYS, Committee of Interns and Residents SEIU, Doctors Council SEIU, NY chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, NYS AFL-CIO, 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, 32BJ SEIU, Communications Workers of America (CWA), Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056 and 1179, United Auto Workers 9 & 9A, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW Local 1500, Capital District Area Labor Federation, Working Families Party, Green Party, Citizen Action, Community Service Society, NYPIRG, New York Statewide Senior Action Council, Disabled in Action, League of Women Voters, Make the Road NY, and many more.
“I understand the fear and uncertainty that comes with not having health coverage, as I lost my health care shortly after being diagnosed HIV positive. It was awful. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone, which is why I support single payer health care and am a proud sponsor of this bill. I hope the state legislature will make this a priority and pass this bill,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson who sponsored Resolution 470.
Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Council Committee on Health stated: "Single-payer, universal health care used to be seen as a fringe, pie-in-the-sky issue. Not any more. Passage of this resolution is the latest sign of the political momentum behind the principle that healthcare is a human right. This victory is the fruit of years of labor by the Campaign for New York Health, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried and so many others. Next stop...Albany!"
“I saw how having long-term care for some and not having it for others had a huge impact on the quality and length of my grandparents’ lives. So I’m committed to working to see that a single payer system includes comprehensive long-term care. And I urge the City Council to include that in their support for the New York Health Act,” said State Senator-elect Alessandra Biaggi.
“Every New Yorker should get the health care they need, without facing financial obstacles or hardships to get it,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, Assembly sponsor of the New York Health Act and chair of the Assembly Health Committee. “No one says they disagree with that. And the New York Health Act is the only plan that achieves that goal.”
"The New York Health Act is currently the only proposal that would create a more accessible, equitable, and affordable healthcare system for all New Yorkers, regardless of their wealth or immigration status,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “As the bill's Senate sponsor, I would like to thank City Council Speaker Corey Johnson for introducing the resolution in support of the New York Health Act and City Council Health Committee Chairman Mark Levine for holding this important hearing to further demonstrate the critical fiscal and public health benefits associated with this bill. I am committed to continue working with Assembly Member Richard Gottfried to make the New York Health Act a reality in New York State."
"Although our current system fails us all, the poor and communities of color suffer the most. People of color and immigrants bear the brunt of the failure of our current fragmented, privatized system. Single payer promotes equity and stands to benefit especially those who have been left out and left behind. If you see health as a human right, you should support the NY Health Act," stated Mary Bassett, MD, MPH, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
“A single payer system will decrease the needless administrative costs of our current system, and allow us to devote our money and our time to meeting the health needs of the more than one million New Yorkers who rely on our services every year,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals.
"It is no secret that nurses are passionate advocates for an improved Medicare for All system in New York State and the country to meet the moral imperative of guaranteeing high quality healthcare for all. We want to guarantee that the progress we make toward healthcare for all lifts the boats for every working person in the state and the country," stated Marva Wade, RN, Board Member of the New York State Nurses Association
The Campaign for New York Health is a 501c4 organization dedicated to passing and implementing legislation for universal single-payer healthcare in New York State. We bring together over 150 organizations representing: community groups, labor unions, seniors, people with disabilities, nurses, teachers, patients, doctors, business leaders, faith groups, immigrants, and healthcare advocates, committed to the right to healthcare. Find out more at www.nyhcampaign.org